Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Sewing Room Outdoors.....

This afternoon I was inspired to set up a sewing studio outside.
Having hung linen curtains one side of the table, I was able to 
enjoy some shade from the intense heat of the July sun.

I couldn't resist buying this beautiful antique cotton night dress from the last Antique Market I went to in Lucca.
So beautifully trimmed around the neck and sleeves, 
handiwork lovingly created by someone with the initials, MJA.
The initials are surrounded with chain stitch decorated with a flower and leaves...exquisite.
Just one problem....it had what looked liked almost scissor cuts through both sides of fabric in two places!
I could not walk away though, the rest was perfect and the nice lady on the stall offered it to me for only 3Euros!

So, here I am in my element, surrounded with baskets and interesting boxes full of antique trimmings, ribbon and lace pondering the best solution.

Another piece of old cotton would work, various possibilities but none work as well as the hand made trim with leaves.
I cut longer lengths than was necessary thinking it all looked more pleasing on the eye and got down to hand sewing the trim in place.
I'm not bad at judging distance in relation to where it should be placed, then secured with bobble headed pins, which I love!

I find hand sewing very therapeutic....in and out the needle goes, through the fine cotton, making tiny stitches with thoughts of my Nana Brown.
My Nana loved sewing too always had something pretty on the go, a new dress for one of the little girls in the family.
I loved peering into her sewing box, running my fingers through her button tin examining spotty ribbons admiring her hand smocking.
I am certain my love of sewing came from my Nana.

 Collecting old trimmings from my occasional visits to junk shops and trawling around antique markets thrills me with sheer delight! 

The vase of wild flowers sitting on the table next to me, in itself I find inspiring, not necessarily with this item of clothing, but to embroider or appliqué the bottom of another antique piece.
I am so often enthralled by nature and all surrounding me up at Torre di Monte Vignale.

I cannot wait to secure the end of the cotton and trow this lovely piece over my head!

It feels lovely, the natural fabric flowing~

LoVe the big scooped neckline~

I wear it with pride, to Sarzana....as a cool summer dress, this very old, once a nightdress!

Wandering back at home through our woods, my thoughts turn to the person who originally made the new, beautiful addition to my wardrobe.
I wonder who she was and what she loved~ 

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Cleaning Out The Potting Shed and Preparing The Raised Beds...........Joy!

Morning song of the birds awakens me to the idea of clearing out the Potting Shed.

Hargs wants to start digging the new beds into the bank, down in the orto.
It will be lovely working side by side...so rarely happens.

We have breakfast together, savour the flavour of the last mouth of coffee, wander down to my very favourite place, where the energy feels strongest...quite magical!

I pull everything out of my darling shed, distracted from time to time by the stunning mountains directly in front of me.

Sweeping and cleaning......doors on two sides, I am crazy about doors opening out on to any patch enabling us to step immediately onto the garden....a strong desire to bring the outside in and the inside out.....that brightest blue sky, lush greenery linking us to the sheer joy of nature.

I am bemused at the fluttering of butterfly wings dancing and bees drawn to the Borragio, bright blue clusters of little star shaped flowers. 

In and out I go carrying white canvas deckchairs, garden tools, lanterns, baskets, (crazy about baskets!), old jam jars.

A beautiful stained glass panel, a much treasured gift from my old friend Mish, a piece her husband Arthur had crafted years earlier.

Time for a break, a fresh fruit smoothie made with strawberries and banana.....mmmmmmm have you ever thought of adding a fresh sprig of Basil?! 

Funny little bird place holders go back up above a door~

Ruby comes to find us with Georgie trotting behind~

Lovely old wine bottles waiting to be filled with tiny white lights~

Hens and Rooster wander through they all feel something is going on!
Slipping back inside my shed thought runs through my head, I could sleep in here...bone dry and such a happy place.
I can see Hargs now through one of the windows, now sitting, a better position for levering yet another huge rock from the bank...happy in his work.
Our Canadian HelpXers Mary and Tony gave us the idea of building beds into the bank. Mary had spotted the idea, a terrific solution to a difficult and otherwise wasted area, which was always tricky to maintain.

So here we are Hargs and me peacefully creating something new ever continuing to improve our surroundings.
I clean an old snail shell, place it on the narrow windowsill, the shape inspires me.
This haven is a place I wish for others to be inspired.
Paint, brushes, all creative materials boxed separately returned to clean shelves.
Luna steps inside to have a nosy around, she would be happy sleeping here too, those warm empty wooden boxes, empty baskets, places perfect for cats.
The Lavender drying boxes a reminder of when my old friends came to stay, Mish, Ju and Lena and I got them each to paint one!
I had found them in a dirty old state by the bins a pile of wooden boxes too useful to be thrown.
Fortunately Lauren was with me and happy to help stack them into the boot of the car, the others would have moaned!!!

Already time to light the BBQ...

Sit back, take pleasure from our day, enjoy a sip of one of Hargs best G&T's and a little something to nibble!

Oooo look, the girls have left us a gift!

Ps.Where does all the time go?
Finally posting, two months on, potatoes planted, watered, felt the heat of the sun, grown taller, flowered, died off and now ready for digging up!
Fancy a taste?